South Africans can prepare for the most radically innovative Springbok squad selections that speak to youthfulness and excellence and also speak beautifully to a transformed landscape because there will be rugby rationale to every selection writes Mark Keohane for Sport 24
Springbok coach and SA Rugby’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus will this weekend confirm a squad of 40 players to prepare for the season’s opening two Tests against Wales (June 2) and England (June 9).
He will then trim the squad to 30 players for the final two Tests against England in Bloemfontein (June 16) and Cape Town (June 23) respectively.
There has never been a Springbok squad selection as eagerly anticipated – and the result will match the hype. This will be the squad announcement that finally matches intent with action.
Every one of the 40 players will be playing in those two Tests and that is confirmation that Erasmus believes every one of his squad is capable of Test rugby. He is said to have already selected the respective match 23s and the word is he wouldn’t say with any certainty which of the two teams would win if they fronted each other.
Erasmus, since his appointment as Bok coach, has consistently spoken of the quality of rugby players in South Africa. Injury to frontline selections Warren Whiteley, Eben Etzebeth and Malcolm Marx hasn’t dulled Erasmus’s enthusiasm or belief in the pool of talent that will define his first season in charge.
Erasmus is a believer in the dynamic of 23 players and how they complement an 80-minute performance.
READ MORE AT SPORT24.